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How To Design The Perfect Customer Journey To Scale Your Online Business

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by Catherine Mandungu, Founder of Think RevOps

Understanding your customer is one of the most critical things online businesses should do. To know your customer well, you must understand their persona, what they need from your business and the customer journey. First some terminology, the buyer journey is about the steps a prospect goes through to come to a purchasing decision, while the customer journey is a strategy used to retain customers after they have already made a purchase with your brand.

Here is a guide to creating a rewarding and comprehensive customer journey that positions your company for growth and scale.

The Ultimate Customer Journey Guide

Revenue teams work consistently to attract buyers. However, connecting with them and eventually closing a sale is becoming harder every day as competition grows in the marketplace. To achieve better results, businesses need a comprehensive buyers’ journey. Knowing your customers helps build a deep human connection with them; further, planning their trip facilitates alignment in your entire market team.

If you are struggling to develop your buyer journey outline, here are steps to ease the process.

1. Have Discussions with your Go-To-Market (GMT) Team.

Involve your GTM team during the creation of your buyer journey outline. Doing so is an excellent method of understanding the journey. All departmental leaders should share their views on the overall process. Use the feedback to determine sections of the buying process that require improvements. These conversations will be a standard for debates with your sales representatives and customers.

2. Have Conversations with Your Sales Reps.

Your sales team plays a crucial role in developing the customer journey because they run software demos daily. Again, they are the first touchpoint between potential buyers and your products. They can get direct and valuable feedback from prospective buyers.

Sales representatives are the largest consumers of the buyer journey outline. Their interactions and actions with potential customers are what businesses should be mapping. This team relays feedback from prospects while defining the most difficult sections of the sales cycle. They also deeply understand the buyer journey across the go-to-market team.

3. Deliberate with Your Customers.

To understand what your buyers want, you must talk to them. The process becomes better when they are already existing customers. Get details of your buyer journey by having honest and open conversations with your consumers. Customers are valuable, and with the popularity of loyalty programs and retention marketing they are becoming more and more critical.

Reaching out to your customers is crucial. Tailor your conversation around the need to create a unified and improved customer experience for the present, past, and future customers. ‍

Outlining the Customer Journey

As we shall see below, there are various methods of assembling all the information collected from your GTM Team, sales representatives, and customers.

1. Build a Blueprint.

Blueprint your processes in Excel or Google Sheets as a start so you can collaborate with other teams in a more centralised way. Adjust the steps to meet your needs. Each row should represent your leading activities, customer experience and outcomes, your goals and metrics to measure success.

Once you have this in place, use a tool that allows you to map this into a flow. This helps you identify the gaps in the flow and adjust. Once you have that initial blueprint from a use case/process perspective, it allows you to overlay the data infrastructure and the technical infrastructure (how does this work in your systems).

2. Choose a Model.

Today, the buyer’s journey no longer ends after the signing of the contract. The customer success team maintains contact with existing customers in various ways. For example, they could be determining customers at risk or ensuring consumers are enjoying their experience with your product.

The customer success team can facilitate the generation of customer satisfaction or net promoter score to help you determine the state of your customer’s experience. Incorporating the GTM function enables your sales and revenue teams to help one another. You can also establish pain points and barriers within the buyer journey and renewal process.

Highlight various methods your buyers can use to join the sales cycle, such as through contact forms, in-app requests and messaging, product interactions, support emails, or success rates.

3. The Development Phase.

Now you have gathered all the intel you need that makes up your customer journey, it is time to now execute on the actual blueprint. You may find that you need a blueprint building tool to help you or even the right resources to help you map this out. A blueprint should effectively contain the end-to-end process design, your tech stack overlayed and of course the data that is collected throughout the journey.

For this exercise you can use your internal operational resources. However, if there is no resource available, you might consider hiring a consultant to help you from start to finish.

4. Blueprint Delivery.

This is where you will now build your offline blueprint into your business infrastructure. Your blueprint acts as a list of requirements to be able to execute accordingly to grow and scale your business. Determine what you need to develop the most efficient and effective buyer journey. You may have noticed the need for re-designing some of your processes, automation opportunities, other technologies or resources to execute on your blueprint.

Emphasize and Advance

The buyer journey is a continuous process. As the market evolves and your company, product and technologies advances, you will need to continually improve your buyer journey. Maintain an updated blueprint model as things grow to ensure that additions to the Go-to-market teams are updated.

Set a time every six months to assess and improve the buyer journey and your blueprint updated. Developing a robust system of healthy habits enables you to keep your engine optimised for growth and scale as well as ensuring the best customer experience.

 

Catherine Mandungu

Catherine Mandungu is the Founder of Think RevOps, she works with tech startups in the B2B sector to optimize efficiency and improve the customer journey. The company focuses on identifying and removing revenue leakage caused by inefficient processes. Mandungu gained experience in the Operations Sector at leading companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Hootsuite.